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July 10, 2006 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-10

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 10, 2006

Continued from Page 1
Ann Arbor residents.
Mayor John Hiefjte is running for
re-election against City Councilwoman
Wendy Woods (D-Ward 5).
Since his election in 2000, Hiefjte's
main focuses have included making the
city more energy efficient and estab-
lishing rail transit through the city.
Woods, who is also associate director
of the University's Community Schol-
ars program, has been a member of the
city council since 2001.
Hiefjte also stressed tight budgeting
at the forum. "We have to keep our eye
on the financial ball," he said.
As democrats, Hiefjte and Woods
agree on many central issues. But,
Woods disagreed with Hiefjte over the
decision to move 90 of the city's for-
mer YMCA residents to an apartment
complex in Ypsilanti after the down-
town building housing the YMCA was
deemed unfit for habitation.
Woods said that if she had been
mayor she would have communicated
more with the Ypsilanti government
so that town did not feel "bullied."

largest role in the tight race for the 53rd
district's state representative between
Ann Arbor natives Leigh Greden and
Rebekah Warren. The 53rd district cov-
ers most of Ann Arbor, including cen-
tral campus and downtown. Current
Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) cannot
run due to term restrictions. Both War-
ren and Greden have tried to build stu-
dent support bases.
Warren, who is conducting an
absentee ballot campaign with a goal
of registering 500 students, is best
known for her grassroots pro-choice
work and has strong support from
Ann Arbor's activist community.
Since striking a nerve with students
two years ago by supporting an ordi-
nance that would have banned couches
on porches, Greden was a main player
in the council's newly formed Student
Relations Committee. The commit-
tee developed a student-friendly lease
ordinance preventing new tenants
from signing a lease until 90 days of
the previous lease have passed.
One council seat from each of the
city's five wards is also up for grabs.
Panelists represented the city's first,
third and fifth ward.
In the first ward, progressive
candidate and University psychol-
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ogy Prof. Ron Suarez is challenging
incumbent John Roberts. Suarez
spoke of his work with labor unions
and if elected would be the city's
first Latino councilman.
First-time runners Alice Ralph,
Jeff Meyers and Stephen Kunsel-
man represented the third ward. An
architect by trade, Ralph was heav-
ily involved in the Save Gordon Hall
campaign, which worked to purchase
the historic Dexter home from the
University this spring.
Meyers and Kunselman both drew on
their experiences as fathers and advo-
cated for environmental issues includ-
ing more park and recreation space.
In the fifth ward race, incumbent
Chris Easthope is challenged by first-
time runners Schmerl and retired resi-
dent Richard Ankli.
Four seats on the county's board of
commissioners will also be contested
between Ann Arbor's two districts.
Incumbents Leah Gunn (D-District
9), Barbara Levin Bergman (D-District
9) and Conan Smith (D-District 10) are
joined by Kathy Wilson, Christina Mon-
tague and Audrey Jackson in the race.
- ArIkia Mlikan contrbuted to this
Continued from Page 1
election approaching on August 8
the show was an opportunity for the
mayor to fuel his re-election cam-
paign. City Councilwoman Wendy
Woods (D-Ward 5), the mayor's
challenger in the Democratic prima-
ry, will appear as the Citizen Improv
guest July 26.
In his monologues, Hieftje primar-
ily focused his stories on personal
experiences such as working in real
estate, camping and campaigning
for his first mayoral election.
Though his narratives were main-
ly about his own life, the mayor did
add a few remarks about the city of
Ann Arbor.
"Each of the five wards here have
a different personality," he said.
"The second is fairly conservative,
the third is more liberal," he said.
The University's campus primarily
falls into the first and second wards.
The Inferno's team of improvisers
then elaborated on each of Hieftje's
narratives with lighthearted humor,
using the stories to loosely-base an
act about the fifth ward and pok-
ing fun at Hieftje's anti-climactic
account of working is real-estate.
"He had great material, which is
helpful," said Improv team member
Katie Thomas. "The more details
the better"
Mayor Hieftje added some seri-
ous commentary between acts
to educate constituents about his
political stance.
"We want something interesting
for everyone to do in our town, an
exciting place that visually inspires
creative minds."
An echo of constant laughter
hummed around the small stage as
the audience observed the mayor's
laid-back style.
"At first I was scared to see the
mayor take on such a casual role,
but I thought he was very funny and
appropriate," Ann Arbor resident
Brian Martis said.

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21st century. East Timor was actually the first.
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